When a blog opportunity popped up in Indianapolis, I jumped on it right away. Most of all, I wanted to improve my blogging skills and knew that Bloghouse would do just that. I also wanted to visit Indianapolis, “Indy,” a place that I had only read about and seen while watching NFL football games.
I had no idea that I would fall in love with the city of Indy. It is one of the best cities that I have seen in the country for state-of-the-art museums, green-space, and family-friendly activities. If you have not visited Indy, you are missing out. Here are seven fun things to do in Indianapolis that I recommend.
1. Visit the Indianapolis Zoo
Between the fun selection of animals and dining options, the Indianapolis Zoo has it all. You could easily make a whole day out of perusing the grounds and making memories with your family at this sustainable zoo specializing in animal conservation. In fact, when you visit the Indianapolis Zoo, you also get admission to 2 other Indy attractions, so you can make a whole day out of it.
The walrus (only six zoos in America have one!) and rhinos were my favorite animals to see. The Flight of the Magnificent Macaws was very cool. As I filmed, I got touched by their wings. The zoo also had babies—a lion, gibbon, and orangutan. I took home a walrus art piece, which they paint with their whiskers as an activity. Try to catch the cute dolphin show!
2. Tour Eiteljorg Museum
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art was a sophisticated contemporary museum housing West and Native American artifacts and artwork. Eiteljorg is well thought out and has two floors of exhibits and galleries.
The American West Gallery’s Art had gorgeous paintings by artists such as Olaf Seltzer and the master himself, John J. Audubon. Grab lunch at the Cafe Terrace; it has a menu full of tasty items, including Mole Chorizo Meatballs and Smoked Chicken Tostadas. Check online for the Eiteljorg Museum calendar of special events, spanning all year long.
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3. Admire the Indiana War Memorials
This was a big surprise! I had no idea how patriotic Indiana was, or that it had so many stately memorial offerings. Second only to Washington DC, Indy has the most monuments and memorials dedicated to veterans. Downtown’s Memorial plaza is home to the USS Indianapolis Memorial, Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and Memorial Museum, displaying Indiana’s history through the Civil War, Korean War, Vietnam, and World War II. The four corner statues of the impressive memorial represent Cavalry, Artillery, Infantry, and Navy.
4. Eat a Delicious Meal
St. Elmo’s Steakhouse ranks as one of America’s top 15 steakhouses, so I had to try it. My meal began with the Elmo Coke, a creation of maraschino cherry and vanilla-infused bourbon with coke. Ordering shrimp cocktail here was a must; rumor has it this dish was invented here. Heads up, the horseradish is shredded daily and incredibly hot. For my entrée, I chose a Filet Mignon with a side of béarnaise sauce. The perfectly cooked filet mignon was one of the best steaks that I’ve ever eaten.
Bloghouse took a field trip to Napolese Pizzeria one day for lunch. While pizza is never my first choice, Napolese’s pizza was good, but the salads and appetizers pleased my palate. The Baked Capriole Goat Cheese with homemade Focaccia was a tangy marriage of creamy goodness. The restaurant’s terrific Double Chopped House Salad, full of fresh veggies, wooed me.
5. Play at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is continually ranked as one of the top children’s zoos by Fodors Travel Guide and Parents website. The enormous dinosaur, visible on the outside of the museum, should give you an idea of how excellent this experience will be. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis was impressive for both children and adults with their active theater, Beyond Spaceship Earth module, Take Me To China interactive exhibit, and incredible Dale Chihuly five-story blown glass menagerie. Taylor and I could have spent a whole day here exploring!
6. Get Outdoors in the Urban Greenspace
One of the fun things to do in Indianapolis is to get outdoors. Indy is one of the “greenest” cities that I have ever been to, which is one of the things that I found so intriguing about it. There was lots of space for visitors and locals to roam and enjoy the outdoors.
White River State Park, viewed from my JW Marriott windows, boasts 250 acres of green space. The space connects downtown to significant tourist attractions, plus included a live music venue and the scenic Central Canal and zoo.
7. Stay at a Luxury Hotel
While in Indy, my daughter (Taylor) and I stayed at the luxurious downtown JW Marriott. We were fortunate enough to score concierge-level access, serving several food and beverage presentations throughout the day. The hotel is richly decorated, and I loved the romantic stone fireplace in the lobby. The JW Marriott offers several on-site restaurants, plus business meeting rooms. Our room had comfortable queen beds, a desk area, flat-screen TV, spacious bathroom, and beautiful views of downtown Indy through the floor to ceiling windows.
As a side note, I am happy to report that the JW Marriott’s room service was quick, efficient, and darned delicious.
Indianapolis: A Great Find!
I cannot wait to revisit Indy! The city’s friendly people, excellent service, beautiful scenery, and top-notch attractions dazzled me. People were running, walking, biking, and skateboarding; Indy’s energetic vibe was contagious. These were the things that I loved about Indianapolis, and I hope that you will, too!
Some of the above-mentioned admissions and meals were hosted by the vendors/businesses in association with Bloghouse. All other things were at my own expense. All opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.
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